ZRRO Takes On Android Home Gaming Market With Touch Interface

ZRRO wants to revolutionize set-top boxes with a new console and a unique interface. Today, ZRRO is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for manufacturing.

There are two parts to the ZRRO system. First, there is the ZRRO Box, which utilizes an AMLogic M802 SoC. The quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 runs at 2 GHz, and the octo-core Mali-450 should be able to run resolutions up to 4096 x 2160. Other specs include 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and 16 GB of internal storage.

This is the initial hardware configuration for the ZRRO Box. According to a company representative, if sales are strong, then the company hopes to provide new units in the future with faster hardware. While the hardware specs are relatively fast, they aren't what really sets ZRRO apart.

The company's ZRRO Pad is the second part of the system, and it provides a unique touch-based interface. While some might have touch screen controls, the ZRRO Pad itself doesn't actually have a display on the device.

The ZRRO Pad makes use of a new technology developed by the company called zTouch, which can detect movements above the pad without you touching it. While you're hovering over the pad, items on the TV enlarge to show what you are hovering over on-screen. You can also perform a series of gestures over the pad.

Thanks to the ZRRO Pad, ZRRO has touch screen-like controls, which is unique. This is a big advantage, as applications and games for Android are typically designed with touch-screen controls in mind. While many work with alternatives like a mouse, the results can be problematic.

This advantage might vanish in the future, however. The ZRRO Pad communicates with the ZRRO Box using a Bluetooth connection, but it requires the OS to have special software. The company told us they are currently in talks with other companies about the potential to use the ZRRO Pad.

With the relatively fast hardware and the touch screen-like controls, ZRRO hopes to attract Android gamers. Android gaming has been growing as smartphone graphics have improved, and the market for Android gaming is now quite large. As a result, several home consoles such as the OUYA have attempted to break into the Android gaming market, but none have done particularly well. ZRRO hopes that the ZRRO Pad will let it succeed where others have failed.

After the Kickstarter, the company said the first devices will be available to the public beginning in October of this year. The starting price is expected to be $149, but only for a limited time. The price will then rise to $199, and then it will be an estimated $50 more at retail stores.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • roger smith
    ya because onscreen touch controls work so well in smartphone games (eyeroll)
  • jonnadk
  • GreaseMonkey_62
    Didn't another company recently try and Android gaming box, OUYA. I imagine this will do just as well.